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Asanas (Poses)

Vipritakarani (inverted pose)

Posture
In 'Hathapradipika' an important book on Yoga accepts this as Mudra rather than asana. But since this
very much resembles with asana position, here we have treated this as an asana. In this asana body is in
inverted position and so is called Viprit Karani (inverted position).
Pre Position
Supine Position.
Procedure
1.
Exhale and inhaling start raising both the legs upward and stop when they make angle of 90
degree with the floor. Attain the Uttanpadasana posture.
2.
Exhaling raise the waist and push the legs backward over the head.
3.
Inhailing support the waist with both the hands, straighten the legs and stretch the toes towards
sky. Keep the sight on the toes.
4.
Continue normal breathing.
Position
In this asana the arms up to the elbows are placed on the floor. The body from neck to the elbows is kept
straight. The toes are stretched upward. Initially if it is difficult to maintain this asana keeping the legs
straight then bend the legs slightly while keeping the balance.
Releasing
1. Inhale and exhaling, slightly lower the legs towards head and maintaining the balance of the body
remove the hands supporting the waist back to the normal position.
2. Inhaling, place the waist on the ground keeping legs straight as in the Uttanpadasana.
3. Exhaling, bring legs back to the normal position without jerk or speed.

Duration
This asana is difficult in the beginning especially for women with heavy hips and men with big belly's.
Initially you can take help of other person while raising the hips and waist. This asana should be
maintained for 2 to 3 minutes after sufficient practice to get the desired results.
Internal Effects
Most of the times we remain either in standing or sitting position. Quite opposite position is taken in this
asana. This helps improve the blood circulation as impure blood easily reaches the heart. To some extent
you can get the benefits of Shirsasana (up side down) in this posture.
Precaution
This asana should not be performed by people who are suffering from heart trouble and blood pressure
problems. It can only be practiced under expert guidance.
Do's
1. Keep the legs straight in knees with toes pointing to the sky.
2. Raise the lower back & buttocks off the ground.
3. Hands, upper arms & elbows on the ground while supporting the waist with the hands.
4. Shoulders resting on the ground.
5. Head straight and eye sight fixed on the raised toes.
6. Note that the legs can be taken towards head for maintaining the balance.
Advanced variation - legs can be straightened at 90 degrees to the floor.
Don'ts
1. Do not bend the legs in knees.
2. Do not take the legs over your head in the position, but you can take the legs over your head while
taking & releasing the position.
3. Do not move the neck while in the position.
4. Do not keep the legs and back in one straight line as in Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand).

Sarwangasana (shoulder stand)


Sarvangasana is one of the best and most important asanas in Hatha Yoga. It has a huge amount of
benefits which cover all the body systems.
Taking the asana position

Exhale and while inhaling, contract the abdomen and slowly raise both the legs to a 90 degree angle from
the floor.

Exhaling raise the waist and the hips from the floor and take the legs backwards over the head.

Inhaling raise the back and the legs up into a vertical position, placing the hands on the upper back for
support. The chin should rest against the chest, creating the chin lock. Fix the eyesight on the toes and
maintaining the asana, continue normal breathing.

The asana position


One should concentrate on getting the legs, waist and the back in one straight line and making this line 90
degrees with the ground. In this asana the arms up to the elbows are placed on the floor, shoulder width
apart. The body from the feet to the shoulders is in a straight line. The chest is pushed forward and the
chin is placed in the throat pit / jugular notch forming a tie which is called 'Jalandhar Bandha'. All the
pressure is on the neck, shoulders and the back of the head. The hands are placed on the back ribs, the
legs are straight and the feet are relaxed.
Releasing the asana position
Inhale and while exhaling bend in the waist and lower the legs over the head, releasing the hands from
1.
the upper back.
Inhaling slowly lower the back to the floor, keeping the legs at a 90 degree angle from the floor. Here
2.
lower the back very slowly, vertebrae by vertebrae.
3. Exhaling slowly lower both legs back to the supine position.
Anatomical focus
Neck, shoulders, abdomen
Awareness
Keeping the body in a straight line.
Remaining balanced.
Abdominal breathing.
The focus can also be on the throat and the thyroid.
Do's
1. Keep the legs straight in knees with toes pointing to the sky.
2. Try and keep the body in a straight line from the chest to the tips of the toes.
3. Head straight and eye sight fixed on the toes.
4. Make sure that the trunk is raised enough vertically so that the chin can comfortably rest against the
chest.
Don'ts
1. Bend the knees.
2. Move the neck or overstrain it in the chin lock position.
3. Bring the legs over the head when in the asana position but don?t keep them completely vertical if it
causes tension.
4. Raise the head from the floor.
5. Tense the legs or point the feet as this contracts the legs and prevents drainage of blood.
Benefits
1. The Jalandhar Bandha improves the function of the thyroid, parathyroid and pituitary glands due to the
increase oxygen and blood. All of the other endocrine glands are regulated by the pituitary gland and so
the overall function of the endocrine system is improved. This results in the improved functioning of all
other systems of the body and the reduction of emotional and mental stress .
2. Stagnant blood from the lower regions of the body, i.e. legs and abdomen is drained to the heart thereby
improving the supply of fresh blood to these parts and the whole circulatory system. Blood supply to the
head area i.e. brain, eyes, ears, nose and throat is improved thereby improving their functioning.
Therefore all of the pelvic and abdominal area circulation, ear, throat and nose ailments are improved.
3. The lung capacity is increased as the diaphragm, which is the muscle of respiration, has to work against
gravity in this posture, this helps in the abdominal respiration and is therefore helpful in the treatment of
asthma. Toxins in the respiratory system are drained thereby improving the respiratory system.
4. Prevents and cures varicose veins.
5. Detoxification of the body due to improved efficiency of the organs of the body which leads to
youthfulness and anti-ageing effects
6. Normalizes body weight due to its effect on the thyroid.

7. Due to the effect this asana has on the hormonal system, particularly the thyroid, it balances the
circulatory, digestive, reproductive and nervous system.
8. Due to the increased blood flow to the head the mind is tranquilized, stress and psychological
disturbances are removed.
9. The increased blood flow can be beneficial for those who suffer from headaches, though it should not be
practiced at the time of headache.
10. The thymus gland is stimulated which boosts the immune system.
11. It balances the parathyroid glands which ensures regeneration and normal development of the bones.
12. It releases the normal gravitational pressure from the anus muscles which helps with haemorrhoids.
13. The nerves passing through the neck are toned and the neck flexibility is increased.
14. The digestive system is greatly improved due to the increase in blood circulation and drainage of
stagnant blood.
15. The pranic flow is harmonized, increasing energy and having a positive effect on all the body systems.
16. Sarvangasana has all the benefits of Shirshasana but is safer and easier to perform.
Benefits for Women
1. It is beneficial for the reproductive system as there is fresh blood to the pelvic region as the stagnant
blood is flushed from the organs and therefore increased efficiency of the reproductive organs.
2. It strengthens the uterine ligaments as the gravity acting on the ligaments in Sarvangasan is in the
opposite direction.
3. It improves the functioning of the ovaries.
4. It helps to balance the moods and calm the mind.
Therapeutic applications

Thyroid disorders
Asthma
Reproductive problems
Headache
Haemorrhoids
Varicose veins
Prevention of cough and colds
Diabetes

Precautions and Contra-indications


1. Should not be performed by people suffering from high blood pressure, heart conditions or brain
diseases.
2. Should be avoided during menstruation and pregnancy.
3. Should be avoided if suffering from a very enlarged thyroid, enlarged spleen or liver as well as cervical
spondylitis, slipped disc, headache and weak blood vessels in the eyes.
Duration
This asana is difficult in the beginning especially for women with heavy hips and men with big bellies. This
asana should be maintained for 3 minutes after sufficient practice to get the desired results.
Variations and tips
1. One may need a folded blanket under the neck and shoulders for support.
2. For some beginners it may be difficult to raise the legs straight. If so then one can bend the knees a little
while taking the position and then straighten out the legs. Some can take help of the wall to raise the
legs.

3. If there is tension in the back or neck then the feet can be slightly tilted over the head like inverted pose
or viparit karani.
Preparatory poses
Dwi Pada Uttanpadasana
Vipritkarani
Follow up poses
Matsyasana is essential to practice after Sarvangasana to counter balance the effect of the Jalandhar
Bandha. Otherwise an asana that bends the head backwards like Bhujangasana or Chakrasana.
Halasan, Vistrut Pada Halasana, Karnapeedanasana and Ashwini Mudra can be practiced after Sarvangasana,
before Matsyasana.

Ashwini Mudra (horse gesture in shoulder stand)

Posture
Ashwa means horse, in this asana a similar movement of expansion and contraction of anus of horse is
expected. To achieve maximum movements a specific position is taken which is called 'Ashwini Mudra".
Pre Position
Supine Position - Sarvangasana Position.
Procedure
1. Fold both the legs in knees.
2. Fold the legs in waist and press the thighs against stomach.
3. Contract and expand the anus in this position.
4. Continue normal breathing.
Position
One should start practicing this asana when stability in Sarvangasana is achieved. As for the position
complete folding of legs in knees and waist is very important. Similarly the calves should touch the thighs.
Do not bend the back during the position. Bending of back brings knees close to the mouth and that is not
desirable.
Releasing
1. Stop contraction and expansion of the anus.
2. Straighten the legs in the waist.
3. Straighten the legs in the knees and take the Sarvangasana.
Duration
It should be maintained for up to 45 seconds, and can be increased to 2 minutes.
Internal Effects
This Mudra has particularly good effects on the empty spaces in the stomach. Due to the pressure
functioning of these parts is improved. It also has good effects on Uterus in women.
Precaution
Any healthy person can practice this asana but women suffering from Uterus problems should do this
asana under expert observation.

Do's
1. Raise the entire back & buttocks off the ground.
2. Legs are bent in knees and knees are just above the head or towards the ears so that the back remains
straight & vertical.
3. Try pressing the thighs in to abdomen and chest.
4. Hands, upper arm & elbows on the ground while supporting the back behind chest.
5. Shoulders resting on the ground.
6. The chin resting in the sternal notch. (In Chin lock position)
Don'ts
1. Don?t bend the back.
2. Don?t let the knees come to the ground or away from the body.
3. Do not move the neck or overstrain it in chin lock position.

Matsyasana (fish pose)

Posture
In this asana posture the shape of the body appears similar to fish in the water. Such a statement is bold
as the fact is we don't recognize the posture as fish but one can float on the water without any movement
in this asana.
Pre Position
Supine Position.
Procedure
1. Spread the legs one foot apart.
2. Fold the left leg in the knee and place it on the right thigh.
3. Fold the right leg in the knee and place it on left thigh.
4. Now with the help of the elbows raise the head, curve the back backwards and place the top of the head
on the floor, making the arch of the back.
5. Hold the toes of the feet with hands and continue normal breathing.
Position
In this asana, the thighs and knees are completely placed on the ground. As the back is stretched in curve
and head on floor, lot of weight is shifted to the head and throat is stretched.
Releasing
1. Release the toes of the feet and support the shoulders with the elbows.
2. Slowly reducing the weight on the head, straighten the neck and bring the shoulders on the floor.
3. Straighten the right leg.
4. Straighten the left leg.
5. Bring back both the legs to normal position and take supine position.
Duration
This asana is complementary to Sarvangasana and Halasana, so should be maintained for one tenth of the
period of the Sarvangasana or Halasana.
Internal Effects

Jalandhar Bandha in Sarvangasana pressurizes the thyroids and pituitary glands but in Matsya Bandha
these glands are stretched. These opposite processes help improve the circulation in these glands
assuring healthy functioning. Also the thigh & abdomen muscles are stretched systematically.
Precaution
The weight over the head should be taken out slowly. The support of the hands should be removed only
when the head is completely ready to bear the weight. Also while releasing the position, one should avoid
jerks and speedy movements. Maintain the asana until it is bearable and pleasant.
Do's
1. Lift the head with the support of hands, elbows.
2. Try to rest the crown of the head on the ground.
3. While taking, releasing & maintaining the position, support the head and neck very carefully.
4. Try to keep soft cushion under the head.
Simple variations 1. One can keep the legs straight
2. The legs can be folded in swastikasana or samasana or a simple cross legged position.
For taking the position, one can go on the elbows from sitting position and while resting on the elbows,
3.
try resting your crown on the floor.
Advanced variation Legs are in Padmasana (lotus pose), try holding toes with hands without elbows resting on the ground.
Don'ts
1. Do not move or pull or turn the neck while you are in the position.
2. Do not remove the support of the elbows to neck.

Halasana (plough pose)


In this position the body looks like a traditional Indian plough pulled by bulls in the fields. Also by
practicing this pose one ploughs the body like one digs the earth, making it loose and free.
Taking the asana position

Exhale and while inhaling slowly raise the legs to a 90 degree angle from the floor.

Exhaling raise the waist and hips, taking the legs over the head, keeping them suspended above the ground.

After exhaling fully, lower the leg further down and rest the toes on the floor. Keep the toes stretched and
breathe normally.
.

The asana position


In this position the toes rest on the floor, if there is enough flexibility, otherwise the toes are towards the
floor, as far as is comfortable. If the toes reach the floor then try to place the toenails on the floor.
Remember there should be no strain. The legs remain straight. If the knees are bent there is less pressure
on the abdomen and less stretch into the legs, particularly the hamstrings. The arms should remain in the

same position, flat on the floor supporting the neck. The chin is pressed into the chest in the jalandhar
bandha or chin lock.
Releasing the asana position
1. Exhale and inhaling lift the toes up from the floor, keeping the legs straight in the knees.
Continue inhaling and slowly lower the spine back down to the ground, keeping the legs at a 90 degree
2.
angle with the floor.
3. Exhaling slowly lower both legs back to the supine position.
Anatomical focus
The neck region, thyroid glands in the throat region, shoulders, lowerback, hamstrings.
Awareness
On the neck, Vishuddhi chakra, and Maniour chakra in the abdominal region. Normal breathing focused
on abdominal efforts.
Do's
1. Keep the legs straight in knees with toes vertical on the ground over your head.
2. Legs are in one straight line.
3. As far as possible, the back remains straight and vertical.
4. Arms straight with palms on the ground.
5. Shoulders resting on the ground with shoulder baldes taking most of the weight and less on the neck.
6. The chin resting against the chest.
Don'ts
1. Bend the knees.
2. Move the neck or overstrain it in the chin lock position.
3. Move into this asana fast as a lot of stress is put onto the spine.
Benefits
1. Improves the tone and strength of the back muscles as the back is folded, as well as the leg muscles and
abdominal muscles. It also removes the rigidity of the back muscles.
2. Improves the working of the spinal nerves, putting pressure on the nerves in the neck region which are
predominantly sympathetic.
3. Improves the function of the thyroid, parathyroid and pituitary glands. All of the other endocrine glands
are regulated by these main glands and so the overall function of the endocrine system is improved. This
results in the improved functioning of all the systems of the body.
4. Gives a complete stretch to the spine which increases its elasticity and overall functioning.
5. Stretches the shoulders.
6. Activates digestion and helps with constipation, improves the efficiency of all the abdominal organs such
as the spleen, pancreas, liver and kidneys. The breathing movements of the diaphragm help to massage
the abdominal organs.
7. Activates the thyroid gland and thymus gland, stimulating metabolism and immunity.
8. Calms the mind and reduces stress.
9. Can induce states of pratyahara (sense withdrawal).
Benefits for Women
1. Due to the compression of the pelvic area it improves the circulation and tone to the reproductive
organs, increasing their efficiency.
2. Can help to strengthen the lower back and sacral area, preventing lower back pain during menstruation.

Therapeutic applications
Asthma
Cough and cold
Constipation
Menstrual disorders
Precautions and Contra-indications
1. Should be avoided during pregnancy and menstruation, high blood pressure and brain diseases.
2. Should be avoided if suffering from an enlarged thyroid, spleen or liver as well as cervical spondylitis,
slipped disc, neck problems, headache and weak blood vessels in the eyes.
Duration
To begin with this pose can be a little difficult so start with a few repetitions of ten seconds at a time.
When the body is used to this then the asana can be held for 30 seconds. After some time it can be
maintained for up to 3 minutes.
Variations and tips
Some like to hold the toes of the feet with the hands or place the hands below the neck. However if held
for too long this can put too much pressure on to the upper spine. It is important that the back is straight,
not at 45 degrees, with the chin tucked in towards the chest as this helps the toes to touch the floor. If
liked the arms can be bent with hands placed on the back like in sarvangasana. This can be helpful for
balance when the toes do not touch the ground.

Noukasana (boat pose)

Posture
The body achieves the shape of a yacht, therefore it is called Nouka (yacht or boat in Sanskrit) asana.
Pre Position
Prone Position.
Procedure
1. Stretch both the arms forward, keep them on the floor with palms closed together. At the same time
place the forehead on the floor.
2. Exhale and inhaling, lift the arms & neck in the front, and legs in the back upwards as much as possible
without bending them.
3. Continue normal breathing and try to maintain the posture steady.
Position
In this asana both the arms both the arms should be raised keeping the palms joined together. Legs also
should be kept together. Head should be at the level of arms. The complete weight of the body on
abdomen.
Releasing
1. Inhale and exhaling bring, both the knees, chin and shoulders slowly on the ground.
2. Leave the ankles and bring the hands beside the body.
3. Straighten the bent legs and bring them as in the prone position.
Duration
This asana is more difficult than Dhanurasana so it is difficult to maintain it for few seconds also initially,
try to practice it for 5 to 10 second. After practicing it for few days you can increase the repetitions, once
you are able to do 5 repetitions easily then reduce repetitions and increase the time up to 1 min.
Internal Effects
In this asana, muscles of legs and hands are stretched more than Dhanurasana. The strain reaches inner
organs and increases their capacity. It also acts on back muscles and helps remove complaints related to
digestive system
Precaution
People suffering from Back problems, TB in intestine, ulcer in stomach, harnia should consult Yoga expert

before practicing this asana. Jerks and unbearable strains should be avoided. People suffering from
Abdomen problems should not do this asana with out consulting Yoga expert.

Dhanurasana (bow pose)

Posture
The body takes the shape of Bow and therefore it is called Dhanu ( Bow in Sanskrit) asana. As the bow is
strained during the archery, the whole body id stretched during this asana posture.
Pre Position
Prone Position.
Procedure
1. Bend both the legs in knees and keep them 6 to 8 inches apart from each other.
2. Catch both the legs firmly near the ankles.
3. Exhale & inhaling pull the legs upward with the hands, allow the body to be stretched in a curve, push
the neck backwards.
Position
After taking the final position, try to raise the thighs up from ground along with shoulders and chest. Push
the neck backwards as much as possible.
Releasing
1. Inhale and exhaling bring both the knees, chin and shoulders slowly on the ground.
2. Leave the ankles and bring the hands beside the body.
3. Straighten the bent legs and bring them as in the prone position.
Duration
Initially practice it for 5 to 10 second. After practicing it for few days you can increase the repetitions,
once you are able to do 5 repetitions easily then reduce repetitions and increase the time up to 1 min.
Internal Effects
This asana is a combination of both Bhujangasana and Shalabhasana and can deliver benefits of both the
asanas. Mainly the weight is taken by the abdomen. This has favorable effect on enzyme producing
organs, liver, pancreas, small intestine and big intestine. As a result of this the concerned organs become

more active and efficient. Also the blood circulation in arms and legs is improved.
Precaution
People suffering from Back problems, TB in intestine, ulcer in stomach, harnia should consult Yoga expert
before practicing this asana. Jerks and unbearable strains should be avoided. People suffering from
Abdomen problems should not do this asana without consulting Yoga expert.

Noukasana (boat pose)

Posture
In this asana the shape of the body looks like a yacht and hence it is called Noukasana (Yacht in Sanskrit).
There is another Noukasana which is practiced in prone position. The difference between these two is in
this supine Noukasana muscles of abdomen and stomach are contracted and in the prone position
Noukasana the muscles are stretched.
Pre Position
Supine Position.
Procedure
1. Exhale and inhaling, start raising both the legs upward and stop when they make angle of 45 degree with
the floor.
2. Hold breathe, and in the same position raise the shoulders and the back. Hold the toes of the legs with
both the hands.
3. Continue normal breathing.
Position
Keep the knees straight or else the expected pressure on the organs is not achieved. In this position it is
always difficult to maintain the balance of the body but with practice one can achieve the steady posture.
If initially you can't catch the toes then hold the legs at ankles but don't bend the legs in knees.
Releasing
1. Inhale & exhaling bring the hands to normal position releasing the toes.
2. Continue exhaling and slowly bring the legs to normal position.
3. Attain the supine position.
Duration
Due to the balance and strain involved in this asana, initially it is difficult to maintain it for long. One can
practice it for up to 15 seconds after sufficient practice.
Internal Effects
The size of the BELLY reduces due to the contraction of the abdomen from both the sides. Organs like
lever, intestines, pancreas, kidneys etc. are pressurized which helps in improving the functioning.
Precaution
Though this asana is useful for abdomen problems, people who have been operated on abdomen should
not do this asana.
Do's
1. Keep the legs straight in knees and inclined at 45 deg angle with the floor.
2. As far as possible the back remains straight.
3. Arms straight with fingers holding the toes.
4. Eye sight fixed on the toes.

5. You may start from sitting position if it is difficult to achieve the position from supine position.
6. Try to balance on the buttocks.
Don'ts
1. Do not bend the legs in knees.
2. Do not bend the arms in elbows.

Samasana (Sidhasan)

Posture
In this asana the external organs of the body are kept in such a way that they stand divided in to two,
hence the name Samasan (in Sanskrit 'sama' means equilibrium).
Pre Position
Sitting Position.
Procedure
1. Spread both the legs and keep them at a distance of 1 to 1.5 feet.
2. Bend left leg in knee and place it touching the thigh of the right leg in such a way that its heel rests on
the procreating organ.
3. Bend right leg in knee and place its foot in between the thigh and its heel is placed of the left leg.
4. Keep the wrists of both the hands on the respective knees and take Dnyana Mudra. Continue normal
breathing.
Position
In this asana the position of the body is stabilized. Keep the backbone erect and sight straight. This
asana is particularly useful for meditation and concentration.
Releasing
1. Bring the hands beside the waist.
2. Straighten the right leg in the knee.
3. Straighten the left leg in the knee.
4. Get both the legs together, take the sitting posture.
Duration
Within 10 to 12 days' practice of this asana, one can maintain this asana for 10 minutes. After more
practice this period can be increased to 2 to 3 hours. Sitting for long in this asana alone can make one
experience the pleasure of this asana.

Internal Effects
As the backbone is kept erect in this asana, its functioning is greatly improved. Dnyana Mudra further
helps in stabilizing pulse beats. Consequently strain on muscles is reduced, which in turn reduces strain on
heart.
Also breathing slows down, collective effect of all this is one can achieve concentration of mind.
Precaution
People suffering from hydrocele or enlargement of testicles should not practice this asana.

Padmasana (lotus pose)

Posture
Padma means lotus in Sanskrit, in this asana position of the legs look like blooming lotus. This asana has
been given a great importance in the Yogashastra as it is best suited for Pranayam, Meditation &
concentration.
Pre Position
Sitting Position..
Procedure
1. Spread both the legs and keep them at a distance of 1 to 1.5 feet.
2. Bend left leg in knee and place its toe on the right thigh and heel on the groin of the left leg.
3. Bend right leg in knee and place its toe on the left thigh and heel on the groin of the right leg.
4. Keep the wrists of both the hands on the respective knees and take Dnyana Mudra. Continue normal
breathing.
Position
In this asana the position of the body is stabilized. Keep the backbone erect and sight straight. If the hands
are long then slightly bend those in elbows. There should not be any strain on any of the muscles.
Releasing
1. Bring the hands beside the waist.
2. Straighten the right leg in the knee.
3. Straighten the left leg in the knee.
4. Get both the legs together, take the sitting posture.
Duration
Within 10 to 12 days' practice of this asana, one can maintain this asana for 10 minutes. After more

practice this period can be increased to 2 to 3 hours. Sitting for long in this asana alone can make one
experience the pleasure of this asana.
Internal Effects
As the backbone is kept erect in this asana, its functioning is greatly improved. Dnyana Mudra further
helps in stabilizing pulse beats. Consequently strain on muscles is reduced, which in turn reduces strain on
heart.
Also breathing slows down, collective effect of all this is one can achieve concentration of mind.
Precaution
This asana is very simple and anyone can practice.

Akarna Dhanurasana (type 1) (bow pose in sitting)

Posture
In this asana the body is stretched more like a string of bow when pulled at the time of archery.
Pre Position
Sitting Position.
Procedure
1. Bend the left leg in knee and keep the foot on the thigh of right leg. Keep the right leg straight.
2. Hold the big toe of the left leg with right hand, hold it between the thumb and index finger and other 3
fingers to have a good grip of the thumb. Hold big toe of the right leg with left hand.
3. Exhale and inhaling start lifting the left foot with the right hand and pull it up to ear. Keep the trunk and
neck erect and the sight fixed on the other end of the left hand.
4. Continue normal breathing.
Position
While trying to raise the foot up to ear, one tends to bend neck. But this is wrong, initially it may be
difficult but it does not matter. Only care should be taken to keep the neck and trunk straight. Try to pull
up the foot as much as possible.
Releasing
1. Inhale and exhaling, start bringing the foot down and place it on the thigh.
2. Restore the hands to their place.
3. Take the left foot to original position.
Duration
This asana exerts great strain and one can't maintain it for long but with practice one can maintain it for
up to 30 seconds.
Internal Effects
In this asana great strain is exerted on hand, legs and joints of waist and the knees. Consequently the
efficiency of the organs increases.

Akarna Dhanurasana (type 2) (bow pose in sitting)

Posture
This Asana involves another system of pulling the leg which gives the impression of a bow with an arrow
to be shot and hence, the name Dhanurasana.
Pre Position
Sitting Position.
Procedure
1. Bend the left leg in knee and keep the foot on the thigh of right leg. Keep the right leg straight.
2. Hold the big toe of the left leg with left hand, and that of the right leg with the right hand.
3. Exhale, and inhaling start lifting the left leg with the left hand and pull it up to the left ear, and stabilize it
at that point.
4. Continue normal breathing.
Position
When one leg is lifted, the other leg and hand should be kept straight. The sight should be fixed on the
other end of the straight hand. Once the Asana Position is taken, smooth breathing should continue.
Releasing
1. Inhale, and exhaling bring the left leg on the thigh of the right leg.
2. Restore both the hands to their place.
3. Straighten the left leg and take the sitting position.
Note: Do this asana in the above mentioned manner by taking up the right leg on the thigh of the left leg
bringing in relevant changes in the position.
Duration
This latter Asana exerts more strain than the former. It should also be maintained for thirty seconds to
experience its benefits.
Internal Effects
In this asana the direction of strain is towards the joints of the waist.
Precaution
The person with weak waist joints should not do this asana as it brings great strain to the joints.

Padmasana Yogamudra (type 1)

Posture
This Asana is performed in Padmasana Position.
Pre Position
Padmasana Position.
Procedure
1. Inhale and take both the hands back and keep the palms facing outside interlocking the thumbs. Keep
both the hands straight.
2. Exhailing bend in the waist and rest the forehead on the floor. Continue smooth breathing.
Position
In this Asana one has to sit in Padmasana and bend in the waist fully. In this process the abdomen gets
folded and that is expected, too. Further in order to get the abdomen folded properly, one should try to
set the forehead on the ground quite away from the body. Once the bending process is over, continue
smooth breathing.
After some practice, while bending in the waist, keep the back bone straight to experience its nice results.
After taking the position, try to relax the body.
Releasing
1. Exhale and inhaling be straight in the waist.
2. Restore the hands on the knees and take up Dhyana Mudra.
Duration
It should be retained at least for one minute to get its benefits. After sufficient practice this duration can
be extended upto five minutes and not beyond that.
Internal Effects
As the belly gets folded in this Asana, there comes tremendous pressure on intestines, liver, spleen,
certain glands, etc., and this pressure improves their functioning and removes complaints regarding
digestive system & constipation. This Asana is also used to awaken the kundalini shakti, which, however,
requires its prolonged practice.
Precaution
One should take care while bending in the waist. Bending process should be slow and should go with the
exhailing process or else one may suffer from air or gas accumulation in the belly. The people with back
problem should practice this Asana only after consulting some Yoga Expert.

Padmasana Yogamudra (type 2)

Posture
This Asana differs from the earlier one only in the position of hands. However, this latter variety is more
difficult than the former. Besides, it is a more advanced state and naturally more beneficial. One should
first practice type 1 and then pass on to type 2.
Pre Position
Padmasana Position.
Procedure
1. Inhale, and exhailing set both the palms near the belly below the navel resting on the heels of the legs.
Keep the right hand palm on the left hand palm. Keep the fingers quite together.
2. Exhailing bend in the waist and place the forehead on the ground. When the bending process is over,
continue smooth breathing.
Position
The position of this Asana is the same as type 1. except the position of the hands. Here first both the
palms are placed at the navel. Then, while bending forward, keep the elbows erect and stuck to the chest
ribs.
Releasing
1. Exhale and inhailing get straight in the waist.
2. Keep the hands on the knees and take up Dhyana Mudra.
Duration
It is desirable to maintain this Asana at least for one minute to have the expected benefits. After
prolonged practice the duration can be increased up to five minutes.
Internal Effects
Owing to the placement of the palms at the navel, there is more pressure on the belly. This increased
pressure makes the benefits of the earlier Asana more prominent.
Precaution
This Asana should be done after good practice.

Vakrasana (type 1) (twisted pose)

Posture
This Asana is designed to twist the spine to the right and left side in from its erect position. The spine is
made up of highly elastic joints and can be moved to any direction.
Pre Position
Sitting Position.
Procedure
1. Bend the left leg in the knee and place its heel near the thigh. Keep the sole of the left foot flat on the
floor and the thigh and knee touching to the chest.
2. Place the left hand in front of the right hand in such a way that the fingers of both the palms face each
other and the palms remain flat on the floor.
3. Now turn the neck and the trunk to the right, twisting the spine and look back above the shoulder.
Continue smooth breathing.
Position
1. In this Asana the spine is to be kept straight.
2. The lower end of the spine and both the hips be placed well on the floor and stabilize them.
3. Then with the support of the neck and shoulders twist the upper vertebrae to the right. At the same
time, the standing knee be kept close to the chest.
4. Alongwith the neck, the sight should also be turned to the right side and stabilize it in that direction.
Releasing
1. Turn the neck to the front.

2. Restore the hand to its place.


3. Straighten the left leg and take the sitting position.
Note: Following the above mentioned process, practice this Asana placing the right leg in folding position.
Duration
This Asana should be retained for minimum two minutes on each side. With more practice this duration
can be increased to six minutes.
Internal Effects
The elasticity of the spine increases as it gets twisted in its erect position. Alongwith the spine the belly
and other internal organs also get twisted and receive the desired strain. It also has very good effect on
the spinal cord and its functioning is improved.
Precaution
One should avoid the temptation of attaining the ideal position if strain is unbearable.

Vakrasana (type 2) (twisted pose)

Posture
This is the advanced stage of Vakrasana. Here the spine is twisted with the support of the knee alongwith
the shoulder, and hence it involves more strain.
Pre Position
Sitting Position.
Procedure
1. Bend the left leg in the knee and place it near the thigh of left leg.
2. Place the right hand beyond the folded knee of the left leg and in front of the left hand. Keep the palms
of both the hands in opposite direction. There should be a distance of one foot between the two hands.
3. Press the standing left knee with the right hand and shoulders, and twist the neck to the left. Turn the
sight also in the same direction and continue normal breathing.
Position
1. In this Asana the spine is to be kept straight.
2. The lower end of the spine and both the hips be placed well on the floor and stabilize them.
3. Then with the support of the neck and shoulders twist the upper vertebrae to the left. Alongwith the
neck, the sight should also be turned to the left side and stabilize it in that direction.
4. In Vakrasana (Type 1) the spine is twisted only with the help of the shoulders. Here the shoulders, the
knee and the hand are placed in such a way that there is more pressure on the spine.

Releasing
1. Turn the neck and the sight to the front.

2. Restore the right hand to its place and set right the palm of the left hand.
3. Straighten the left leg and take the sitting position
Note: Perform this Asana by taking up the right leg making relevant changes.
Duration
It should be maintained for two minutes on each side to have the expected benefits. With practice, it can
be maintained up to six minutes.
Internal Effects
The elasticity of the spine increases as it gets twisted in its erect position. Alongwith the spine the belly
and other internal organs also get twisted and receive the desired strain. It also has very good effect on
the spinal cord and its functioning is improved.
Precaution
One should avoid the temptation of attaining the ideal position if strain is unbearable.

Ardhamatsyendrasana (half spinal twist)


Half Spinal Twist pose is one of the best and most important asanas in Hatha Yoga. It has a huge amount
of benefits which cover all the body systems.
Full Spinal Twist position was the favourite meditation pose of the Sage Matsyendranath so this pose is
named after him. However, as it is a little difficult to practice a simplified form Half Spinal Twist came
about.
Taking the asana position

Bend the left leg and place the left foot on the ground over the right knee.

Bend the right leg and fold it so that it is resting on the ground with the right heel near the left buttock.

Bring the right hand over the left leg and grab the big toe of the left foot.

Inhale and exhaling twist the trunk of the body as much as possible, turning the neck so the gaze is over the
left shoulder and encircle the waist with the left hand with the palm facing outwards. Continue to maintain
the asana, breathing normally.
The asana position
In this position there is a strong twist on the spine and abdomen. The right arm is pressed against the left
knee and the left arm is wrapped behind the back, leading to an increased twist on the body. The chest is
open and the spine is erect. One side of the abdomen is compressed and the other side is stretched. The
right leg and knee remains on the floor. The left knee should be close to the right armpit.
Releasing the asana position
1. Inhale and exhaling turn the neck back to face the front.
2. Release the hands and place them beside the body.
3. Straighten the right leg.
4. Straighten the left leg and return to sitting position.
5. Practice the same on the opposite side.
Anatomical focus
The spine, hips, abdomen, chest and arms.
Awareness
The twist on the spine, abdomen and relaxed breathing mostly focusing on chest breathing.
Do's
1. With the right hand, hold the left big toe from the left of the left knee. If it is difficult to hold the toe then
one can hold the ankle or raise the toes keeping the heel on the ground.
2. keep the spine vertical, do not bend or drop the shoulder, you can keep the hand on the ground to
support the shoulder.
3. Encircle the lower back with the left arm, palm facing outwards.
4. Turn to the left side in the spine; turn the shoulders and head to the left.
5. Try to keep both of the buttocks firmly on the ground.
6. Only twist as far as you can and keep your back and neck straight.
Don'ts
1. Lift either of the buttocks off the ground or sit on the heels.
2. Let the back or neck bend forward.
3. Overstrain the knees and hips.
4. Lift the left sole of the foot from the floor.
Benefits
1. Increases the elasticity of the spine, tones the spinal nerves and improves the functioning of the spinal
cord.
2. Stretches the muscles on one side of the body whilst compressing the muscles on the other side.
3. Relieves back pain and stiffness from between the vertebrae.

4. Useful for slipped disc.


5. Massages the abdominal organs and increases the digestive juices making it useful for loss of appetite
and constipation.
6. Useful for diabetics, with concentration on the pancreas.
7. Regulates the secretion of bile and adrenaline.
8. Relieves tension that may have built up in the back from forward and back bending asanas.
9. Opens the chest and increases the oxygen supply to the lungs.
10. Loosens the hip joints, relieving stiffness.
11. Releases tension in the arms, shoulders, upper back and neck.
12. Increases purification of the blood as well as the internal organs.
13. Improves round shoulders.
Benefits for Women
1. Increases the circulation to the pelvic region and therefore providing fresh blood, nutrients and oxygen,
improving the health of the reproductive organs as well as the urinary system.
2. Useful for preventing urinary tract disorders.
3. Beneficial for menstrual disorders.
Therapeutic applications
Diabetes
Constipation
Anorexia
Cervical Spondylitis
Urinary tract disorders
Menstrual disorders
Indigestion
Precautions and Contra-indications
1. Should be avoided during pregnancy and menstruation due to the strong twist in the abdomen.
2. People with Heart, abdominal or brain surgeries should not practice this asana.
3. Care should be taken for those with peptic ulcer or hernia.
4. Those with severe spinal problems should avoid and those with mild slipped disc can benefit but in
severe cases it should be avoided.
Duration
To begin with this asana may be held for only a short time but should gradually be built up to 2 minutes.
After more practice it can be held for up to 5 minutes on each side.
Additional section
Variations and tips
If it is difficult to hold the foot or remain in the position there are some other variations that can be used to
begin with.
1. The right leg can be kept straight instead of wrapping it around the body and/or the left foot can be
placed a little further away from the body, closer to the right foot.
2. Instead of the holding the left foot with the right hand the feet can be raised, closer to the hands.
3. Instead of holding the toes the right arm can be bent with the hand pressed against the left shoulder or
the left knee can be held by both the arms.
4. If it is difficult to balance the left hand can be placed close to the body with the palm on the ground
supporting the torso instead of wrapping it behind the back.
If one wants to get more stretch between the shoulder blades then one can wrap the right arm under the
left leg and behind the body, clasping the left hand.

If there is discomfort sitting on the floor then one can sit on a pillow.

Sharanagata Mudra (forward bending)

Posture
The position of the body in this Asana reflects the feeling of submission to God. The desire of submitting
and becoming one with the Almighty God is central theme of this Asana.
Pre Position
Padmasana Position.
Procedure
1. Exhale, and inhaling raise the hands upward from the sides and join the palms.
2. Exhaling, bend in the waist and touch the forehead on the floor keeping the hands straight. After taking
the final position, continue smooth breathing.
Position
1. Like Yogamudra here too the abdomen gets folded. Further, attempt should be made to have this fold as
complete as possible. The frontward stretched arms greatly help in getting this fold. However, the hands
should be kept as much outstretched as possible.
2. Keep the knees resting on the floor and the spinal column straight.
3. Place the forehead on the floor at farthest distance from the crossed legs. While outstretching the
hands, keep the arms touching the ears. Keep the breathing normal.
Releasing
1. Exhale, and inhaling start raising the arms, neck and the trunk and straighten it in the waist. Keep the
hands outstretched above the head.
2. Exhaling, bring both the hands down from the sides and take up Dhyana Mudra.
Duration
This Asana should be maintained at least for one and half minute to have the desired benefits. After
practice this duration can be increased to three minutes.
Internal Effects
This Asana prepares the Sadhaka mentally for the desired submission to the Almighty God.

Paschimottanasana (half) (half forward bend)

Posture
Ardha Pashchimottanasana is not an independent Asana. But since Paschimottanasana (full) is difficult to
practice, Pashchimottanasana (ardha) is designed to enable the body to take the full position later.
Pre Position
Sitting Position.
Procedure
1. Fold the left leg in the knee and place the heel of the left foot near the thigh of the right leg.
2. Only inhale.
3. Exhaling, hold the big toe of the right foot with the left hand and encircle the right hand round the waist.
4. Exhale completely, and bend downwards and touch the forehead to the knee. Don't allow the knee to
raise. Continue smooth breathing.
Position
The process of downward bending is the same as in Pashchimottasana (full). In this Asana one leg is
folded and the calf and the thigh are kept to the floor.
Releasing
1. Exhale, and inhaling, start raising the head.
2. Restore both the hands to their place.
3. Straighten the left leg and take the sitting position.
Note: Practice this Asana by folding the right leg making the relevant changes.
Duration
Initially, even if it is maintained for thirty seconds, one experiences the benefits. Of course, after practice,
it should be increased to four to five minutes.
Internal Effects
Basically this Asana prepares the body for Pashchimottanasana (full).

Precaution
While bending downward, there is the possibility of the knees and thighs being raised, and this should be
avoided.

Shavasana (corpse pose)


This asana is known as Shavasana or Corpse Pose as it looks like a dead body. This asana is one of the
easiest asanas to get into but the most difficult to practice. It is one of the best relaxation poses and if
practiced correctly and with full efforts, can relax every body part, relaxing not only the body but also the
mind.
Taking the asana position

Spread the legs one to two feet apart, the toes are turned outwards, the heels facing each other, a
comfortable distance apart.

Bring the arms a little away from the body, palms turned upward.

Relax the neck and allow it to turn to the side if it is more comfortable.
Close the eyes and focus the attention on the body, breathing normally.
Begin focusing each body part and relaxing it, then moving on. Keep the mind focused on relaxation, the
breath should be normal. Relax the whole body.
The asana position
This asana looks very simple to practice but is actually highly difficult. To keep the body in a corpse like
state is the external position and is not so important. What is important, and lies in the success of this
asana is keeping the mind focused on relaxing every body part. To be able to do this the body needs to be
in a comfortable, soothing position and state. In each position of the body there is a kind of strain or
pressure on every muscle, called tone. The aim of this asana is to reduce this strain and give the muscles
the real rest and relaxation that they need. All the muscles cannot be relaxed immediately after taking the
shavasana position, therefore one has to relax each muscle with great deliberation. One has to pacify and
relax the mind, freeing it from thoughts, worries and ideas. One has to think of each and every body part
(the amount of detail will depend on the time available) and relax it, from the crown of the head to the

toes. The direction of relaxation can vary from crown to toes or from the right hand, to right foot and then
left hand to left foot, finishing with the back and head. The mind and body are deeply connected. If the
mind is occupied by thoughts and worries then the shavasana will be unsuccessful. Therefore one has to
acquire the stability of the mind along with the stability of the body.
When one first goes into the asana the motor neurons that innervate the skeletal muscles are still firing
nerve impulses. As the breath becomes more regular and relaxed the nerve impulses slowly begin to drop.
The rhythmical movement of the respiratory diaphragm leads to deeper relaxation and eventually even
the nerve impulses to the deep postural muscles of the torso are minimised.
After taking the position first attempt to free the mind from thoughts and worries and concentrate on the
body. Then concentrate on each body part, relaxing it. After relaxing the whole body turn the mind to the
direction of the breath. Do not allow the mind to control the breath but let it be slow and relaxed. The
more the body relaxes, the slower the breath will become. In the final position the whole body is
completely relaxed, the breath is very slow and the mind is stable and quiet.
Releasing the asana position
1. First one should prepare ones mind for releasing the asana.
2. Make small movements of the fingers and toes
3. Straighten the neck.
4. Bring the arms back next to the sides.
5. Bring the legs together and open the eyes.
Anatomical focus
On every body part.
Awareness
On relaxing every body part, relaxed breathing.
Do's
1. Keep the mind focused on relaxing. If thoughts come do not stress about them but let them pass.
2. Keep the spine in a straight line.
3. Avoid moving the body parts as even the slightest movement will use many muscles and increase the
nerve impulses.
4. Keep the eyes closed.
Don'ts
1. Go to sleep, let the mind wander or move the body.
2. Wear tight fitting clothing.
Benefits
1. Right from the time of conception to the time of death innumerable processes continue operating
incessantly inside the human body. Even when the body seems quiet or asleep these processes do not
stop. It can be said that the relaxation of the body depends upon the scale of slowness of these
operations, therefore an attempt is made to slow down these internal operations.
2. Every activity inside the body needs oxygen, supplied through blood circulation. When we need more
oxygen the circulation is increased which leads to an increase in respiration. In Shavasana an attempt is
made to break this cycle by slowing down the speed of activities in the body. By practicing this asana the
internal operations slow down, slowing the breath and therefore pacifying the mind. A new cycle is
formed.

3. Leads to a relaxed mind which allows you to see and relate to the world in a more realistic light, be more
efficient in work and bring more happiness into life.
4. Integrates the feeling of relaxation into the conscious and unconscious awareness.
5. Relaxation of entire nervous system, body and mind.
6. Relieves stress on the body and mind.
7. Removes disturbing thoughts and tensions.
8. Relaxes the muscles which lead to a decrease in the demand for blood and oxygen, giving the circulatory
and respiratory systems a break.
9. Beneficial for all stress related ailments.
10. Rejuvenates the body and mind.
11. Removes stress and fatigue.
12. Improves the functioning of the brain.
13. Decreases high blood pressure.
14. Useful for preventing and improving heart complaints.
15. When the body is relaxed the awareness of the mind increases and this leads to the development of
pratyahara.
16. Can be used for insomnia.
Benefits for Women
1. The benefits of shavasana cover the whole body but there are also some benefits especially for women.
2. Shavasana can be very useful during menstruation as it gives a deep relaxation to the muscles and also to
the mind. If a women is feeling tearful, angry, irritable, tired or just plain stressed Shavasana will help. It
will give the peace and calm needed by relaxing the muscles, focusing the mind and getting rid of any
anxieties or worries. Shavasana can also help if there is any lower back or pelvic pain. By focusing on the
stressed parts the women can relax the area and relieve the pain.
3. During pregnancy it is a great practice to do at any time of the day, especially if feeling tired or
emotional.
4. Irregularities in the menstrual cycle are often indicative of a larger problem. Shavasana helps to
rebalance the body and relaxes every body system.
5. It is beneficial for emotional disturbances, stress, anger, depression and frustration, redirecting the
energy and giving a feeling of calmness and freshness.
Therapeutic applications
All stress related diseases
Fatigue
High blood pressure
Heart complaints
Stress
Anxiety
Insomnia
Precautions and Contra-indications
Avoid going to sleep as this will prevent the decrease in nerve impulses as well as the deep relaxation.
Duration
There is no time duration as it is a relaxation pose. It should be practiced whenever the body becomes
tired, before and after asanas it is necessary and also between asanas when required. It is especially
necessary after dynamic asana series like surya namaskar. It may also be practiced separately during the
day, when needed, after a hard days work or before going to sleep.
Variations and tips

1. There should be some padding under the body and if necessary a little under the head, however the mat
should not be soft as this will induce sleep. If the ground is slanted then let the head be lower, this
prevents a drop in blood circulation to the brain and other vital organs. For those with lower back pain
and light cushion can be placed under the lower back. Some may need a small cushion under their knees
also.
2. Lengthen the body a little as when the muscles relax they also lengthen. If the body is relaxed without a
little stretch then the body may feel cramped a bit after the practice.
3. If you are prone to low blood pressure then very slowly move from shavasana by first turning to the left
side and then sitting up. This will increase the blood flow through the heart and prevent dizziness.
4. If you are prone to falling asleep then keep the legs a little closer together. This will give a mild moola
bandha which will prevent sleep. Either this or bring the upper extremities closer together which will
give a small amount of tension. If this is not enough then focus on the breath, giving a simple inhale and
exhale focus.
5. For those who are not accustomed to relaxing the muscles and body many issues may arise, such as
mental or psychological issues. If you cannot come to terms with these issues then you may try to avoid
or be uncomfortable in this asana. To overcome this a wholistic yoga practice of asanas is needed, ideally
with other yogic techniques.
6. If it is consistently difficult to relax then try a sequence of tensing and then relaxing the muscles. First the
arms, then the legs, then the pelvis, lower back and abdomen, followed by the chest and upper back,
then the facial muscles. Finish by tensing the whole body and then relaxing. By doing this the Golgi
tendon receptors stimulate relaxation.

Swastikasana (auspicious pose)

Posture
In this asana one leg is placed on another in a peculiar way and then the position is stabilized. Since
ancient times this Swastika is considered as auspicious symbol and this asana tries to attain the shape of
swastika with legs placed on each other.
Pre Position
Sitting Position.
Procedure
1. Spread both the legs and keep them at a distance of 1 to 1.5 feet.
2. Bend left leg in knee and place its soul touching inner side of the right thigh.
3. Bend right leg in knee and place its foot in between the thigh and the calf of the leg.
4. Keep the wrists of both the hands on the respective knees and take Dnyana Mudra. Continue normal
breathing.
Position
In this asana the position of the body is stabilized. Keep the backbone erect and sight straight. This asana
is particularly useful for meditation and concentration.
Releasing
1. Bring the hands beside the waist.
2. Straighten the right leg in the knee.
3. Straighten the left leg in the knee.
4. Get both the legs together, take the sitting posture.

Duration
Within 10 to 12 days' practice of this asana, one can maintain this asana for 10 minutes. After more
practice this period can be increased to 2 to 3 hours. Sitting for long in this asana alone can make one
experience the pleasure of this asana.
Internal Effects
As the backbone is kept erect in this asana, its functioning is greatly improved. Dnyana Mudra further
helps in stabilizing pulse beats. Consequently strain on muscles is reduced, which in turn reduces strain on
heart.
Also breathing slows down, collective effect of all this is one can achieve concentration of mind.
Precaution
This asana is very simple and anyone can practice.
Do's
1. Keep the legs straight in knees with toes pointing to the sky.
2. Raise the lower back & buttocks off the ground.
3. Hands, upper arms & elbows on the ground while supporting the waist with the hands.
4. Shoulders resting on the ground.
5. Head straight and eye sight fixed on the raised toes.
6. Note that the legs can be taken towards head for maintaining the balance.
Advanced variation - legs can be straightened at 90 degrees to the floor.
Don'ts
1. Do not bend the legs in knees.
2. Do not take the legs over your head in the position, but you can take the legs over your head while
taking & releasing the position.
3. Do not move the neck while in the position.
4. Do not keep the legs and back in one straight line as in Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand).

Tadagasana (pond pose)

Posture
Pre Position
Supine Position.
Use
Generally practiced to get rid of fatigue, strain, exertion etc.
Position
Take supine position, then bend both legs in knees and bring toes near to hips with legs 1 to 1.5 foot
apart, cross arms around head. Relax all your body muscles and continue normal breathing. While
releasing slowly move legs to original position, hands to normal position.

Anantasana (Lord Vishnu Position)

Posture
Pre Position
Supine Position.
Use
Position
Take supine position, turn on left side, place the elbow of the left hand on ground with left palm
supporting your head as shown in figure. Keep right hand near your chest on ground, continue normal
breathing.
Repeat this for right side.
While releasing slowly bring hands to the normal position and take supine position.

Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose)

Posture
Like Padmasana, this is also the Asana for meditation. One can sit comfortably for a prolonged period in
this Asana.
Pre Position
Sitting Position.
Procedure
1. Fold the left leg in the knee and place the toe on the floor.
2. Fold the right leg in the knee and place the toe on the floor and join the two toes.
3. Sit on the pit formed by the parted heels.
4. Place the palms on the knees.
Position
It is important to keep the spine, the neck and the head, upright in one straight line in this Asana. Keep
the sight fixed at the level of the height. Don't have any pressure on the hands. The whole weight of the
body be set on the spine. Continue smooth breathing, when the final position is attained.
Releasing
1. Remove the palms from the knees and bring them to the sides.
2. Take out the left leg and straighten it.
3. Take out the right leg and straighten it.
4. Take the sitting position.
Duration
After a little practice, this Asana can be maintained for a long time. In the daily routine it should be kept
for five minutes to experience good results. With more practice it can be kept for three hours.
Internal Effects
Along with the body, the mind also gets stabilized in this Asana. Hence, it is preferred for meditation in
this Asana. Hence, it is preferred for meditation and concentration. This Asana is alsofound to be good for
Pranayama. The special fold of the legs forms one Bandha in this Asana. Consequently the blood
circulation in the waist-downward parts is controlled. For this reason this Asana is recommended after
Shirshasana.
Precaution
The people having stiff joints and whose movements have become difficult, should practice this Asana
with a lot of care. Such persons should practice this Asana after getting the joints free and relaxed.

Uttanpadasana with both legs (leg raised pose)

Posture
In this asana both the legs are raised upwards and so is called Dwipada(both legs) Uttanpadasana.
Pre Position
Supine Position.
Procedure
1. Exhale and inhaling start raising both the legs upward and stop when they make angle of 90 degree with
the floor.
2. Keep the sight at the toes of the feet.
3. Continue normal breathing and try to maintain the posture steady.
Position
While raising the legs, it is necessary that the legs be kept straight and close together. Keep the toes
together and stretched towards sky.
Releasing
Inhale and exhaling, bring both the legs down, back on to the floor.
Duration
Though this asana appears to be simple, it is difficult to maintain the posture. To start with try to maintain
this for 5 to 10 seconds. Do not take unnecessary strain, if you feel uncomfortable then release the
posture immediately.
Internal Effects
In this asana, thigh muscles and stomach muscles are stretched. The strain reaches inner organs like small
intestines, enzyme producing glands and other organs and helps increases their capacity. The vertical
position of the legs help improve the blood circulation.
Precaution
One should avoid movement of legs with jerk or speed. The movements should be controlled otherwise
this asana can strain muscles.
Do's
1. Raise both the legs at 90 degrees to ground keeping them straight in knees with toes pointing to the sky.
2. Keep the back & buttocks on the ground
3. Arms straight with palms resting on the ground close to the body.
4. Head straight and eye sight fixed on the raised toes.
Don'ts

1. Do not bend the legs in knees.


2. Do not lift the lower back or buttocks.

Uttanpadasana with one leg

Posture
In this asana one leg is raised up at a time and therefore it is called Ekpad (One leg) Uttanpadasana.
Pre Position
Supine Position.
Procedure
1. Exhale and inhaling start raising left leg upward without allowing it to bend in the knee and stop when it
makes an angle of 90 degree with the floor.
2. Keep the sight at the toe of the left foot.
3. Continue normal breathing and try to maintain the posture steady.
Position
While raising the leg, it is necessary that the leg be kept straight. Keep the toe stretched towards sky.
Releasing
Inhale and exhaling bring, the leg down, back on to the floor.
Duration
Though this asana appears to be simple, it is difficult to maintain the posture. To start with try to maintain
this for 5 to 10 seconds. Do not take unnecessary strain, if you feel uncomfortable then release the
posture immediately.
Internal Effects
In this asana, thigh muscles and stomach muscles are stretched. The strain reaches inner organs like small
intestines, enzyme producing glands and other organs and helps increases their capacity. The vertical
position of the legs help improve the blood circulation.
Precaution
One should avoid movement of legs with jerk or speed. The movements should be controlled otherwise
this asana can strain muscles.
Do's
From left side
1. Raise the left leg at 90 degrees to ground and keep it straight in knee with toes pointing to the sky.
2. Keep the back & buttocks on the ground
3. Palms of the hands resting on the ground close to the body.
4. The other leg should be straight in knee and resting on the ground with toes pointing to the sky.
5. Head straight and eye sight fixed on the raised toes.

Don'ts
1. Do not bend the legs in the knees.
2. Do not lift the lower back & buttocks.
Note: Repeate the same procedure for the right leg also

Shalabhasana (locust pose)

Posture
Shalabh means 'locust' as the position of the body in the asnana appears to be like that of a locust. To
facilitate easy learning first learn Ardha Shalabhasana.
Pre Position
Prone Position.
Procedure
1. Exhale and inhaling, raise both the legs from the waist keeping them straight in the knees. Keep the toes
stretched to the backside and continue normal breathing.
2. Take the precaution that the legs are straight in knees as otherwise the strain on desired organs is
reduced and desired results are missed. During the practice chin should rest on ground.
Position
Keeping the raised legs straight in the knees, stretch the toes towards the backside. At this point the legs
may tremble, but this trembling can be stopped if the raised legs are slightly lowered. Attempt should be
made to raise the legs as much as possible without having any tremble and then stabilize them at that
point and keep the breathing normal.
Releasing
Inhale and exhaling bring both the legs down on the ground and then back to the prone position.
Duration
Only difference between Ardha Shalabhasana and this asana is that both the legs are raised
simultaneously instead of one in this asana. As the strain is more, the duration be reduced.
Internal Effects
This asana mainly centers the lower vertebra of the spinal cord and the muscles of the abdomen and
thighs. The strain activates their blood circulation. As a result of this the concerned organs become more
active and efficient. This strain is effective on small and big intestine and certain enzyme producing
glands.
Precaution
People suffering from Back problems, TB in intestine,Ulcer in stomach, harnia should consult Yoga expert
before practicing this asana. Jerks and unbearable strains should be avoided.

Makarasana (crocodile pose)

Posture
Position like that of a crocodile.
Pre Position
Prone Position.
Procedure
In the prone position place your both hands crossed around head or rest your forehead on it, relax all the
muscles, continue normal breathing.
1. Bring the arms forward and fold them. Then place the forehead on the folded elbows and relax the neck.
2. Spread the legs and keep them at a distance of a foot or so, with the heels inside and the toes outside.
Then relax the legs.
3. Keep the whole body relaxed. Try to touch as many parts of the body to the floor as possible. Keep the
breathing normal and the head in a positoin which is comfortable.
Position
This asana being for relaxation, the muscles of the body should not be strained. So attempt should be
made to relax all muscles and the joints of the body.
Releasing
1. Bring the feet together.
2. Unfold the arms & get them back as before and come to the Prone Position.
Duration
The aim of this asana is to release the strain caused by other asanas. Therefore, this asana should be
maintained for two to three minutes.
Internal Effects
As all the muscles are relaxed, they need less blood and oxygen supply. Consequently, the heart beats and
the breathing also slow down. Now as the whole basic operation turns slow, the body gets good rest.
Precaution
In this asana the whole body is relaxed. As the body is relaxed one is inclined to sleep which one should
strictly avoid.

Parvatasana (mountain pose)

Posture
The body is stretched to look like a mountain peak and so it is called the Parvatasana (parvat means
mountain in Sanskrit).
Pre Position
Sitting Position: Padmasana
Procedure
1. Take both the hands forward and lock the fingers of both the hands together.
2. Take the hands over the head and turn the palms downside up facing the roof. Stretch the body upwards
with the arms stretched towards the sky.
3. Stabilize the position and continue normal breathing.
Position
In this asana stretching of the body is important but body is not actually lifted.
Releasing
1. Relax the body and bring the hands as in position 1 in figure above.
2. Take the position as in Padmasana.
3. Straighten the left leg in the knee then straighten right leg.
4. Get both the legs together, take the sitting posture.
Duration
You can maintain this asana for long time without any problem.
Internal Effects
Stretching the arm, back and abdominal muscles improves the functioning of theses parts of the body.
This helps cure certain problems of spinal column & cord.
Precaution
This asana is very simple and anyone can practice.

Vrikshasan (Tree Pose)

Position
Except the toes, the whole body right from the heels to the fingers of the hands, is stretched upward. Pull
the hands upward as much as possible. The more the body is kept stretched, the more it is possible to
keep the balance. Keeping the legs stable, one should pull the body upward, thinking that he is being
pulled up by some force. Taking the asana position continue smooth breathing, and keep the sight and
the mind fixed, as looking here and there will disturb the balance of the body.
Releasing
1. Inhale, and exhailing bring both the hands down from the sides.
2. Bring the heels on the floor and take up standing position.
Duration
As this asana involves balancing, it is enough to maintain it for one minute. To have certain special results,
one should increase this duration to three minutes.

Internal Effects
In this asana all the muscles are stretched in one direction at one time and then relaxed. This process
helps to remove all the strains. The muscles get rest and relaxation and even the earlier strains caused by
other asanas get removed.

Precaution
The asana being simple there is nothing to bother. However, while stretching the body upward, one
should take care to maintain the balance.

Januhastasana (Hand to Knee Pose)

Posture
In this asana the body is stretched more like a string of bow when pulled at the time of archery.
Pre Position
Sitting Position: Vajrasana.

Procedure
In Vajrasana place both the palms on the ground ahead of knees touching each other, push neck
backwards and chest forward with waist pushed downwards, in this posture relax all the muscles,
continue normal breathing.

Adhvasana (Downward Facing Position)

Posture
Pre Position
Prone Position.
Procedure
In the prone position place your forehead on ground, stretch your hands forward and join them ahead of
your head as shown in figure. Stretch your legs in opposite direction, relax all the muscles, continue
normal breathing.
Ardhachakrasana 1 (half wheel pose)

Posture
Pre Position
Supine Position, Tadagasana
Use
Position
Take supine position, attain Tadagasana posture then join both the legs & knees, lift your waist and make
straight line of your spinal column as shown in fig. Try to remain in this position without disturbing the
posture, relax all muscles and continue normal breathing. While releasing slowly lower the waist to touch
the ground, legs to original position.